As I look out the window, into our garden, I see two velomobiles. The right one is my Mango, the VM on the left is my dad's Flevobike Alleweder. Like most 'bent riders, he also started on two wheels. And he still rides his red Cruiser. He newer saw the point of riding 'in' a bike. 'You should feel the wind when you're riding' he'd say. 'Those velomobiles are good for the young, for those who cycle much more than I do' would be his second reason not to want a velomobile.
But something happened, he made a test ride in a Alligt Alleweder during a 'try a recumbent day'. He liked it, but still didn't really saw the need of getting himself a comfy enclosed trike. His opinion changed. Especially when a friend remembered that my dad had shown interest in a velomobile. This friend would be selling on of his velomobiles because his wife didn't fit in between the front wheels. To be honest, that is a narrow space in a mark II Flevo Alleweder. Buying the FAW was allowed by mom, but he had to sell his scooter. He'd bought that a few years a go to visit grandpa. But that good old man had passes away 4 years ago, so the scooter already was sort of redundant.
We sold the scooter and agreed day to collect the VM. It must have been a sunny evening in the spring when we picked it up in the nearby town of Nieuw Roden. My dad was brought to Nieuw Roden by a colleague, I arrived there in my previous VM, also a FAW. (who I had to sell to pay Yavixa, I sometimes miss that '94 special, so please don't ask to much about her ;) ) We adjusted the seat, set the bicycle computer to the tyre right size, had a cup of coffee and rode home again.
Over the past 3 or 4 years, I did change a few things. First thing to be swapped was the seat. I installed a much more comfortable wooden 'Zephyr' seat. The headlights where up-graded to powerful homemade LED lights. And I equipped the yellow machine with indicator lights.
There was however still one problem, my dad doesn't like yellow. And he was riding 5 square meter of this colour. We kept the bright and safe yellow, but added a design inspired by our national railway company.
Nowadays he really likes riding his 4608. A name I came up with. Most trains have a personal 4 digit number. 46 is his year of birth and 08 stands for August. He rides year round and even went out when their was snow. He buys potatoes and dairy products at little farm shops around Assen. By now there's probably something like 9000km on the odometer. I think that with his Cruiser, his town bike and the 4608, he does a total of 7000km a year.
Last week I did a small repair on the wheel arches. As aluminum does age through the years, some cracks had appeared. A problem quite common to a VM of this age, over 12 years old now. I also put some new grease is the ball joints of the front wheel suspension.